Struggling with Moving? Check Out Our Packing Tips

Air Conditioner

  • If your air conditioner is in use, shut if off the day before so the coils can dry and cool off.
  • Remove and clean or replace the filter.
  • Tape the cord to the side of the air conditioner (not the back, where the coils are).
  • Use the original box, if you have it, or another large appliance box well-padded with wadded up newsprint. (Don’t use Styrofoam peanuts, which could get inside the air conditioner and cause problems later.)
  • If you don’t have a box, tie two large pads around it to protect the coils.

Appliances (Big)

We’re talking washers, dryers, dishwashers, air conditioners, refrigerators – the big stuff! Before you pack any of it, read your users manual for each appliance to make sure there aren’t more special moving preparations you’ll need to make. Also, consider servicing all your appliances a week or two before you move, if you haven’t done it in a while.

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Appliances (Small)

You’ll need:

  • Blank newsprint or your own towels and linens
  • Medium-sized boxes
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Armoires

You’ll need:

  • Rope
  • Large padding or old blankets

Armoires can be great packing spaces for lightweight items like pillows, lamp shades, even hanging clothes, if you use a tight tension rod inside. If you’re going to pack a lamp shade, be sure to pad it all around with lots of lightly wadded up blank newsprint or bubble wrap.

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Artwork and Mirrors

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Blank newsprint and cardboard or bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam peanuts for sculptures
  • Boxes (flat and/or sized to fit) for each piece of artwork
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Beds

You’ll need:

  • Rope or tape
  • Large pads for headboards and footboards
  • Sheets or mattress covers
  • Plastic bag
  • Disassemble the bed frames and mark the pieces so you know where they go later. Tie or tape rails together.
  • Take all screws, bolts, nuts, etc. put in plastic bag and tape to rails.
  • Tie large pads around headboard and footboards, if you have them.
  • Leave sheets on mattresses to protect them, or cover them with plastic mattress covers. You’re done!

Books

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Small boxes

TIP: If you’ve collected lots of books over time, it’s a great time to re-evaluate what you really want to keep. Consider selling some at a yard sale or to a secondhand book store. More weight in your truck adds to the final price if you’re being moved, and puts a strain on you if you’re moving yourself.

  • Never pack more than 30 pounds of books in a box, unless you’re a weightlifter by trade.
  • Fill in small spaces in each box with smaller paperbacks. Alternate bindings every few books to keep stacks level in each box.
  • Tape shut and mark “Books.” You’re done!

Bureaus

You’ll need:

  • Rope
  • Large pads

TIP: Don’t leave bureau drawers completely full for the move – the bureau will be too heavy. Use suitcases to pack some clothing and other non-fragile items from your bureau drawers.

  • Partially empty out drawers and fill spaces with small, fragile items like clocks or picture frames wrapped in loose clothing.
  • Don’t put tape on the drawers – it could stick to the finish.
  • Tie a large pad securely around the bureau.

CDs

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Plastic peanuts or blank newsprint
  • Small boxes
  • Pad the bottom of the box with wadded-up blank newsprint or Styrofoam peanuts.
  • Place a stack of CDs in the middle of the box. If your box is big enough and you don’t have a lot of CDs, put your entire CD holder in the center, CDs and all. CDs can weigh a lot, so you’ll probably have to divide them into several boxes.
  • Fill in tightly all around and on top with peanuts or wadded paper so the CDs won’t jiggle.
  • Tape and mark “CDs.” You’re all done!

Chairs

You’ll need:

  • Bubble wrap or blank newsprint
  • Tape
  • Furniture pads
  • Wrap arms of chairs with blank newsprint or bubble wrap and tape.
  • Leave slipcovers on or cover with large flat sheets.
  • Cover next with furniture pads. Now you’re done!

China and Crystal

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Small and medium boxes
  • Cardboard
  • Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap
  • Blank newsprint
  • Lots of patience
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Clothes

You’ll need:

  • Wardrobe boxes
  • Suitcases
  • Small and medium boxes

-or-

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Collectibles

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Small and medium boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam peanuts or blank newsprint
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Flammable Items

You’ll need:

  • To call your local recycling pick-up provider, fire station, or the nearest Environmental Protection Agency office to learn how to properly dispose of flammable and hazardous materials before you move, such as paints, solvents, oil, and gas from your grill.

DON’T!!!!!

It’s dangerous and illegal to pack and move flammable and hazardous materials. If you have a small can of turpentine or leftover paint, ask your neighbors if they can use it. Otherwise, dispose of it properly with assistance from your recycling company or the EPA.

TIP: Many towns have an annual “Hazardous Materials Disposal Drop-Off Day” at a recycling center or fire station. If you know you’re moving, plan ahead to dispose of materials then.

Kitchen Items (Breakable)

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Small and medium boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Peanuts or blank newsprint
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Kitchen Items (Non-Breakable)

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Medium and large boxes
  • Your kitchen towels and linens
  • Blank newsprint
  • Select a few pieces of essential cookware – a couple of pots, a frying pan, some cooking spoons, a spatula, and utensils for everyone – for the first day you’re in your new home.
  • Put blank newsprint (or ripped-open paper bags) between the items. Fill in spaces with wadded newsprint.
  • Seal and mark “Kitchen.” On the box you need for cooking when you arrive, mark “Kitchen – First Day.” You’re all done!

Lamps

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Medium or large boxes
  • Bubble wrap
  • Take lightbulbs, harps, and lamp shades off lamp.
  • Wrap lamp shades in bubble wrap and stack them in a large box with wadded paper, or put them in an armoire or large chest.
  • Wrap cord around lamp and wrap lamp in bubble wrap. Place in empty, defrosted refrigerator, unplugged dryer, or drained, unplugged washer. Or put them in boxes with wadded paper, seal, and mark “Lamps.”

Lawn Furniture

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Large, flat boxes for any glass tabletops
  • Blank newsprint and bubble wrap for glass tabletops
  • Packing is easy if you have furniture with no breakable parts. Hose down/clean off your furniture.
  • Disassemble any parts. Tape them together, or put small pieces in ziplock bags and tape to the furniture. You’re good to go!
  • If you have glass tabletops, wrap them in bubble wrap and put them in flat boxes used for mirrors and artwork. Seal and mark boxes “Fragile – Glass.” Now you’re done!

Lawnmowers and Lawn Tools

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Storage containers for hazardous materials
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Stereo Components

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Plastic bags
  • Original boxes and foam forms

-or-

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TV (Big Screen)

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Original packing boxes and foam forms

-or-

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TV/VCR (Less than 30″)

You’ll need:

  • Tape
  • Original packing boxes and foam forms

-or-

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Moving Tip

  • Get rid of the junk! Get rid of anything you don’t need or want, it will make packing that much easier and save you money.The more stuff you have will increase the time and or weight of the move and will cost you more money!
  • Do not move jewelry, money, coin collections, etc. Keep these items in your possession.
More Moving Tips

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